Friday, October 21, 2016

A fall sunrise

This afternoon my niece was coming.  As usual I'd put off cleaning for as long as possible so after breakfast I started to work picking up things.  That's when the power went off.   Seems something happens just before company arrives - last time it was Orion bringing a live mouse into the house.  Fortunately, the house was built w/ the idea of using natural light so I could easily see in every room I went.  (Well, not the utility room but guests rarely go there.)  No worries about heat.   Even though the pump wasn't circulating water through the floors, the house was already warm  and would actually get a passive temperature bump from the bright sunshine streaming in.   I keep a couple of bottles of water on the counter which come in handy for all sorts of things.  The rumba robot was already charged so I let it go sweeping the floors.  Power was only out a little over an hour.  My neighbor saw workmen on the power lines into town.   They are suppose to be stringing new lines but we were guessing someone did an "oops".  

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


I had errands to do today so was driving around when I realized that I haven't seen one bumper sticker concerning the presidential election.  Are bumper stickers passé now?  There are still lawn signs.  The ones in front of businesses surprised me.  Would think a business wouldn't want to possibly alienate any clientele.  Most signs were in front of people's residences, something I wouldn't do.  Political signs kinda muck up the view and autumn is such a pretty time here.  Plus I would hope people have given some thought and consideration to whom they think will govern the best and not because they saw a sign stuck in the sod.   Besides if anyone really wants to know whom I will vote for, all they have to do is ask .... and then sit back.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A farm in autumn

I'm fed up w/ the talk that the upcoming election will be "rigged". The people saying it offer no substantiation. There is no proof of the claims. The election hasn't even occurred yet. The insinuation is that your poll worker is crooked. Have you looked at the typical poll worker? They are your neighbor. In our town, you'll probably be greeted by name when you walk in the door. They are grandmotherly - welcoming, helpful, but passionately running things by the book. They certainly aren't doing it for the money - they feel it is part of their civic responsibility to the community. Finally, they are old.  They aren't going to put up w/ your guff, any foolishness, and will have no problem telling you where to go if you start ranting about "rigged" elections.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Island on the lake

Perfect October day. We were socked in by fog until 10 a.m. Very spooky. Then the sun came out and it was a warm (60's) w/ that smell of fallen leaves in the air. I'd cut back Indy's medicine a small amount and we went on a slightly longer walk today. After sunset the wind rose and the sky lit up w/ lightening. Perfect time for another short walk. We got back home just before a deluge started. Out the windows, it looked like the beginning of those old scary mystery movies. The kind of weather that would have inspired that infamous line "It was a dark and stormy night."

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Yellow-rumped Warbler

These little warblers are stopping off for awhile before continuing their migration south.    Same thing w/ mergansers.  There is usually a pair or more on Gorgeous Gorge when I go past.  Last week, I heard a lot of commotion outside and watched gulls raucously calling, flocking together, and headed east (strangely enough).  The only gulls I've seen are the ones who summer at the dump.  Wonder if their winter digs are more upscale.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Daylily seed pod

While I was waiting in the vet's office, I watched the doc's other patients.  The lady sitting next to me had noticed Indy wasn't putting weight on her back leg.  "Dysplasia", she said.  "Huh" was my intelligent response.  "Dysplasia," she reiterated, "We had black labs and just all of the sudden their hips go and that's it." I wasn't sure what "that's it" meant and didn't ask.  She and her husband had a large crate filled w/ cats that she said she found and they were going to keep as house pets.  Mentally I decided to wait for the doc's diagnosis of Indy's problem.  In through the door walked a man w/ a good-sized white puppy under each arm.  He placed them on the floor and waited for the receptionist. "They are dogo argentinos also called Argentinian mastiffs." He said.  "We breed them and these are about to be shipped out to their new homes."  The puppies were extremely laid back and immediately fell asleep on top of each other. The man filled us in on the characteristics of the breed - non-aggression, powerful, brave, and loyal.  After the vet gave the puppies a certificate of health, the man brought them back to the waiting room and placed them again on the floor while he paid the bill.  First puppy, now wide awake, ambled over to the nearest corner and promptly urinated.  The man grabbed it up but while he was apologizing to the staff, the second puppy thought that was a really good idea and she did the same thing.  The vet staff cleaned it up quickly before any other animal got the same idea.  Meanwhile, I was relieved when the doc called me in to show x-rays indicated Indy had no breaks (and no dysplasia).

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Red Maple on a brisk autumn day

Indy and I are taking it easy this weekend. Doc's orders. Indy came up lame on her back left leg Tuesday afternoon and when it didn't get any better on Wednesday, I made an appointment w/ the vet. The vet assistant tried to take Indy into the back for x-rays but Indy wasn't leaving me and she's a pretty powerful dog. So I went back too. It was immediately obvious that Indy was not going to sit calmly for any procedure. I gave the OK to sedate her. X-rays showed no breaks. In fact, the doc was pretty impressed that for an older dog, the only thing that showed up was maybe the beginning of arthritis in one foot. He said it could be a torn tendon, soft tissue damage, or Lymes disease. He gave me an anti-inflammatory for her. Next problem was waking her up. It took some nudging but she managed to walk out to the car before she decided to lay down again on the pavement. Fortunately for me, she really wanted away from that place. She mustered enough energy to not only stand again but jump onto the front seat. Once we got home, it took her another half-hour before she was ready to get out of the car. By that time she was awake enough to be out of sorts w/ me and the rest of the world.  Gave her a pill and left her alone for the night. This morning she's using the leg again.  Will use up the rest of the pills, let her rest, and give it time.

Autumn color

The Coffee and Conversation Wednesday group at the library may be mostly made up of long-retired folks but they keep up on current affairs and they've got a sharp sense of humor. One lady brought in a small container of colorful little candy. She started passing it around asking if anyone wanted to play Russian Roulette w/ skittles (Donald Trump Jr. on Syrian immigrants). Someone else suggested we should also pass out tic tac's - "just in case" (Donald Trump bus video). After laughing about that we talked about other things. Two of the women started discussing which professional baseball team had the best looking players finally settling in on the Giants. When they started comparing which individual player they thought was the most handsome, one of the guys yelled that was enough "locker room talk" (Donald Trump 2nd debate). You might have guessed - they are a liberal bunch.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Gray Squirrel

Saw this little guy down by the Gorge. I was surprised since he was pretty far afield from tall trees. Might explain though why I've been finding black walnuts strewn along my mowed paths. The Grove is an island of tall basswood trees located at a vulnerable erosion area in between fields. Basswood are great but not extremely long lived (Well, for a tree that is. They average around a 100 years). Dad and Uncle Walter decided some time ago to supplement the grove w/ rows of black walnut trees which are now prodigiously producing nuts. Since my brothers made new paths for me which go from the grove and eventually end up by the woods, I think the squirrels from the forest are using them as a superhighway between the "food mart" and their home.  If the squirrel is scared by a predator on the way back to the woods, they drop the nut and take off for cover.    Never occurred to me that the squirrels might use my paths to get to the grove.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Canadian Geese

Had fun w/Aunt June yesterday. Lately she's been barely communicative and somewhat surly when I visit. Don't know if they changed her medication or what it was but that morning she was awake, alert, and ready for adventure. McD's mocha machine was broke so I got her a regular coffee w/ extra cream and she only drank a portion of it. However she ate all of her donut and half of mine. She would respond to the stories I told her and we laughed a lot. She smelled the vases of fresh flowers around the nursing home. We checked out the whole complex. If a hallway was empty, we raced down it. She listened happily as I read her a letter from one of her old friends in North Dakota. Got her to the dining room where, even though I had stuffed her w/ donuts and coffee already, I made her promise to eat her breakfast. Nice to have visits when I know she enjoyed herself.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Hairy woodpeckers

After our First Frost of the season was over I put my potted flowers out again on the deck yesterday. I'm putting off digging them up to overwinter as long as possible, I suppose. The forecast was for at least a few days of warmer weather - overnight temps in the mid-40's. However, I noticed that it was going to be a clear night and there was no wind. At one o'clock in the morning Indy asked if she could go out to the garage/her run to bark at coyotes so at the same time I checked the outside temp - barely above freezing. Decided to bring all of those pots inside again. This morning, just before sunrise, I checked the temp again - still holding at just above freezing. Two takeaways - (1) the temps forecast for my area can be off as much as 10 degrees and (2) it's a lot easier to get up in time to see the sunrise than it was this summer.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

The gravel pit's stone sifter

I was taken aback as I got ready for bed last night. I was more beat up from trimming buckthorn yesterday than I thought. Not only do I have scratches across my arms and hands (had to dig two thorns out of my palm) but my long pants hadn't been much protection either. I had developing black & blue marks along w/ puncture wounds up and down my legs. The hand I'd held the pruners in was swollen. Can't complain. My wounds are minor and don't hurt - I fell asleep almost immediately after I got in bed and walked the long trail through the swamps this morning. There are plenty of others that had a worse day than I had: people living in Aleppo, those in the path of hurricane Matthew, Mr. Trump.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Path to the woods

What was suppose to be a half hour walk this afternoon turned into two hours. I checked on some buckthorn that I had trimmed off this spring. They had put on leaves but didn't look very healthy and, more importantly, there were no more sprouting nearby. I trimmed off all of their leaves again. Then went walking around the edge of the woods looking for any other buckthorn that might have started growing. If I found tiny ones, I pulled them out by the roots. Larger ones I defoliated and marked a branch w/ a strip of pink duct tape. When I see the tape in the future it'll remind me to check for buckthorn. I was nearing the house again when I ran out of tape. Jumped in the car to pick up my mail downtown. My Christmas cards arrived! (I like to be prepared.) Stopped off at Glory B's and ordered a pizza. The place was empty so while I waited I chatted w/ the bartender. She said this weekend is the Youth Hunt (kids can hunt deer w/ rifles as long as an adult is along). Note to self - wear my blaze orange windbreaker on this weekend's walks. The bartender said the place would fill up later because there is a football game tonight. I asked if people came in to watch the game on one of the big TV's in the place. Got an incredulous stare from the bartender (what did I say wrong?) Turns out it's the local high school that's playing a home game. Doubt I'll ever get plugged into what's going on in our small community.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Red Squirrel

Indy and I did a few more activities getting ready for freezing weather. I pried the lid off the sewer system and used the hose to clean out the filter. Then I disconnected the hose from the outside spigot. No further need for that this year. I moved the new just-delivered bench over to Ragnarok. Will wait until I have some help to work out how to get it out to Gorgeous Gorge next spring. Took in the hummingbird feeders. It's been a few weeks since I've seen one so I'm assuming they are well on their trip south. Also cleaned out the thistle feeder. During the summer the birds eschewed it in favor of the myriad of other seeds available in the meadow. The birds that overwinter will again flock to this feeder once the snow covers all their other options. Replaced the bear spray in my camera case w/ a pruner. It's bear hunting season so they are laying low for awhile. The buckthorn trees remain green while the native trees turn color so that makes it buckthorn hunting season as well. After the walk I got on Amazon and ordered a bottle of Glögg (non-alcoholic kind). Might as well have a reason to look forward to cold weather.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Library display - Bells

I had a book to return anyway, so stopped by the library this morning to do that and look in on the Coffee and Conversation group.  Just like the rest of the farms in the area, the cranberry growers are harvesting too.  So the goodies today were Orange/Cranberry quick bread and Cranberry bars.  I returned to the library tonight for my volunteer stint.  The number of books to pull off the shelves for patrons requesting them from other libraries has gone up from this summer but only had two patrons come in tonight.  Don't know if that's because it's getting darker sooner and not as many people wanting to be out and about as the temps drop -or- if now that school has started and the holidays are coming up, people are just busier.  Anyway, the video I checked out is a series on how to cook.  Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks.